Install a Chimney Cap

Tim Hance with All Islands Home Inspections shares a video of an uncapped chimney at a recent home inspection. In the past, chimney caps weren’t installed because people used their fireplaces all day/night as a source of heat; the constant updraft prevented water intrusion becoming an issue. Today, that’s not the case for most homeowners, so it’s really important to install chimney caps to prevent water intrusion that can lead to expensive damage. Thanks for watching!

Fun Fact Friday

Karoke means “empty orchestra” in Japanese.

The sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in jelly.

The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.

Mary Stuart became Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old.

The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; “7” was selected because the original containers were 7 ounces. “UP” indicated the direction of the bubbles.

Ant Inspection

“Ants are among the most prevalent pests in households, restaurants, hospitals, offices, warehouses, and virtually all buildings where food and water can be found. While mostly harmless to humans, ants (especially carpenter ants) can cause considerable building damage.  Inspectors can expand their knowledge base by being able to identify some of the telltale signs of ant infestation.”

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Safety: Install Anti-Tip Bracket at Oven/Range

Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections shows a range oven missing its anti-tip bracket. These brackets come standard with all ranges, but are rarely installed. It’s a simple installation- the bracket simply screws into the floor and the oven leg “seats” into the bracket when pushed into place- and highly recommended for safety reasons. If a child steps on the open oven door, or if you have a large dish (turkey?), the oven could tip over. This has happened in the past, with fatal consequences, hence the anti-tip bracket is important to be installed. Thanks for watching and listening!

Home maintenance for October

October means it’s about to get cold and brings with it lots of homeowner tasks. Among other things, remember to:

  • Check the roof for loose, cracked or missing shingles.
  • Trim tree limbs away from the roof and windows.
  • Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Store paints, caulks and liquid materials in warmer areas or remove from unheated areas and sheds.
  • Detach and store hoses.
  • Clean gutters after most of the leaves have fallen and make sure downspouts and gutter extensions are in good repair.
  • Set thermostats and automatic sprinklers for winter.
  • Reverse fan blades for winter settings.
  • Ensure that gauges on home fire extinguishers indicate a full charge. Replace if necessary.

Handyman DIY Roof Repairs

Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections documents handyman DIY repairs to a roof from a recent home inspection. Noted were displaced shingles, recently repaired and failed which, because they were displaced, I was able to tell there wasn’t a necessary tar paper underlayment installed. If you plan to conduct DIY repairs on your roof, please follow the installation instructions found on every package of roof shingles! Better yet, hire a roofing contractor.

10 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

There are many tasks in and around your home that you can and should do for yourself, but there are some that should really be left to professionals. If you haven’t learned by now which tasks these are, you are in for a lot of trouble and expense. (Most of us know, we just don’t want to admit it.) When you have figured it out, or if you are not handy and just want to go straight to a professional, Popular Mechanics’ Brett Martin says, “Sometimes it makes sense to hire a pro rather than take on a job yourself. But choosing the wrong contractor can lead to delays, subpar work, and even legal problems,” See his guidelines to help you choose a professional contractor and ensure a good working relationship.